Through Russian Eyes
As the American Team Artifact Manager, diplomacy was literally in my hands.
This fascinating traveling exhibit directed by Mark Talisman, Founding Vice Chairman of Washington DC's Holocaust Museum, had 500 items on loan for the very 1st time from the Russian Central Armed Forces Museum in Moscow. The exhibit of these emotionally charged items immersed guests behind enemy lines in a dramatic walk though of dioramas. Eventually, participants found themselves in a recreation of Hitler's bunker, viewing the actual war maps he used, Hitler's, shoes, Stalin's coat and pistol, the Key to the Reichstag, flags, partisan puppets, a crumbling section of the Berlin wall, among other sensitive items were on display throughout the experience. As these items were being seen for the first time, the exhibit was an exercise in trust and diplomacy between 2 nations who were once allies in the war. The care and security of the artifacts were of great importance.
I advised on the display, care and travel considerations for all artifacts. I consulted creatively with the Russian exhibit designer so that the the artifacts were better protected while the participants still felt immersed in the diorama experience. As a result of my liaison services, we were able to keep the successful diplomatic and financial relationship between the Russians and the Americans intact. Mark Talisman remained a mentor to me until his death in 2019.